Singapore Airlines To Stop Serving Its Iconic Lobster Thermidor

Singapore Airlines lobster thermidor has been offered for years and is a customer favorite. They’re dropping it for ‘healthier’ choices.

Singapore Airlines offers perhaps the best main meals of any airline in premium cabins, although I’ve always found their snack service to be lacking.

The best feature is “Book the Cook” which isn’t just pre-order something that’s going to be on the plane anyway, but an extensive menu of specialty items to choose from in advance that the airline will have on board for you. Singapore Airlines offers this in both business and first class, and on flights departing from many of their long haul destination cities not just departing from Singapore. It’s an impressive feat.

The single best meal I’ve ever eaten on a plane was Singapore’s Prawn & Chicken Laksa. I was first introduced to the dish in business class flying Singapore – Bali.

book the cook laksa

Singapore used to allow “Book the Cook” even on their shortest business class flights. My first experience with this was flying Singapore – Bali as well, over a decade ago, where I had the lobster thermidor.

book the cook business class lobster

It’s a dish I’ve had many times since. It’s one of the more popular options on Singapore’s menu. I’ve actually found it to be quite inconsistent, and generally prefer other meal options.

Whether it’s flying first class from San Francisco to Hong Kong where it was fine, but I was jealous of my wife’s beef bulgogi.

singapore airlines lobster thermidor san francisco to hong kong

Or flying Tokyo Narita – Singapore where it wasn’t properly heated.

book the cook lobster thermidor tokyo to singapore

It’s also come out just beautifully as well on a Singapore – Sydney flight:

book the cook lobster thermidor sydney to singapore

In an article about Singapore Airlines plans to trial ‘dine on demand’ in business class, to determine whether they offer fully customizable meals at any time or merely “a flexible dining approach,” Executive Traveller notes that the airline is also talking about dropping its iconic lobster thermidor from the menu.

McNeil also flagged that a refresh of the Book The Cook service, which Singapore Airlines launched in 1998, could see the iconic lobster thermidor make way for a ‘modernised’ version in line with changing tastes.

“Like everything, the Book The Cook programme evolves. The lobster thermidor is a perennial favourite but we’re looking at opportunities to modernise that, whether it be a lobster thermidor-type of dish or something similar and lobster- themed which is a little bit more modern, a little bit more healthy perhaps.”

“People like lobster, but we’re moving to an environment where people are becoming more health-conscious so maybe the creamy lobster dish is not the right one… maybe a beautiful grilled lobster with fresh asparagus or veggies might be another alternative, as long as we maintain the integrity of the dish.”

This seems like a bad idea. Given that it’s Book the Cook, and there are myriad options to choose from (departing Singapore in first class there are literally dozens) why not offer both choices?

Apparently we might still see lobster thermidor from time to time, even after it’s removed from the standard book the cook choices. However it seems that it’s going to leave the menu’s staples.

Lobster thermidor remains a classic. Who could resist ordering it in Thai Airways first class on a morning Bangkok – Hong Kong flight? Brunch is always better than breakfast.

thai airways lobster thermidor

Even though in recent years flying Singapore Airlines I’ve almost always gone with other choices and find Asian options to be the most appealing.

singapore airlines laksa singapore to paris

singapore airlines sushi

Singapore, if you’re listening, don’t drop the classic lobster thermidor.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @ Gary — Well, thank goodness you can still order this at a restaurant for about $30, way cheaper than SQ business class.

  2. Agree that the simple hawker stuff are the best BTC choices by far. Reliably nice to eat. But if you think the SQ laksa is especially good, you’ve got to try it on the ground . . . as decent as the SQ version is, that is about the most effusive adjective I can muster about it.

  3. @Gary: I’m with you on preferring the Asian options. One of the best airline meals I ever had was the vermicelli noodles with prawns on a SIN-HKG flight about two and a half years ago, as an Asian breakfast option. I was actually quite amused at how much it threw the flight attendant for a loop that a westerner was ordering that (and was quite pleased with it).

  4. @Mak – I’ve had plenty of laksa on the ground! it’s just that as far as airline meals go it works especially well in the air compared to other dishes.

  5. The lobster was awful I would never order it again. Most of us want pure steamed or boiled lobster with butte not the unhealthy creamy mess with a few small bits of lobster. Good riddance and kudos to SQ for keeping up with the times.

  6. Lobster thermidor is a mid 20th Century dish that, while tasty (if done right), is simply not something you will ever see on a modern upscale restaurant menu.

  7. Ive had the lobster thermidor on SQ . Wasn’t remotely impressed. Maybe people without much experience with lobster think its great. I just wished i ordered something else, since i have had other meals on SQ that were better.

  8. I ordered the lobster thermidor (even though you had recommended against it) as one of my meals on a recent Singapore to Newark flight. It was dreadful. I should have followed your advice.

    I also had the Nasi Biryani and the lamb chops and those were outstanding. Even the hamburger was very good.

  9. I’m not sure how killing off a favorite is supposed to be a good idea. Want to offer a healthier lobster dish? Offer both the beloved item and the healthier one as Gary suggested.

  10. I flew First Class on SQ Mel – Sin back in July & sent the food back it was that awful. With only 4 in 1st you think they could have done better! Same day, business class to Bali was no better. Asked for & got an economy meal. Thank goodness for snacks & good wines

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